How to Get a Liquor License & Avoid Objections from the Community

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How to Get a Liquor License & Avoid Objections from the Community

18 April 2017
 Categories: Law, Articles


Liquor sales is the bread and butter for many restaurants and establishments, as liquor typically has a profit margin between 80% and 85% and draft beer usually has a profit margin around 80%. Before you can sell liquor at your restaurant or establishment, you must first obtain an on-license.

When applying for an on-license, community members have a right to weigh in and object your application. All objections will be taken into account by the city and will heavily influence how successful you will be in getting that license. To prevent your application from running into any objections, take a look at these 3 techniques.

Reduce the Hours When Liquor Will Be Sold

Most community members are concerned that the sale of liquor will have a negative impact or influence on the neighborhood. This is particularly true if your establishment or restaurant is located close to residential properties. No one wants to have to deal with drunkards becoming a nuisance in the middle of the night, especially when they have to get up early the next morning. You can put a lot of minds at ease if you reduce or limit the hours of when liquor will be sold at your establishment. It's best to avoid late nights and early mornings.

You can create a custom schedule. For example, you might stop liquor sales early during weekdays, but continue them until later on in the night during weekends. This might be enough to appease those who are living nearby. The key is to be considerate and reasonable.

Provide Details of the Type and Amount of Security On-site to Avoid Disasters

On top of being rowdier than usual, those who are intoxicated also tend to act more rashly. This means that conflicts and arguments may arise. Safety is a key concern for many community members. If you plan on selling liquor at your establishment, you might be able to further put some minds at ease if you specify the security measures that you will put in place to prevent brawls and other issues. For example, you might have two security guards stationed inside just in case any conflicts arise.

As safety is a key concern, you also want to prevent your patrons from getting inebriated to the point where conflicts and disagreements may arise. You should also specify how you plan on limiting alcohol to patrons based on how they're acting and how much they've had to drink.

Include Protocols for Preventing the Sale of Alcohol to Minors

Another key concern that is commonly brought up is whether an establishment or restaurant has sufficient protocols in place to prevent the sale of alcohol to minors. This is usually a great concern for parents and also for law enforcements. To prevent any objections in this area, show that your establishment takes this issue very seriously. On top of asking to see several pieces of government-issued ID, you might also want to invest in devices that will scan the ID to determine whether they are legitimate or not.

Your bartenders and staff should also be trained on how to spot minors and how to spot fake IDs. They should ask patons who they suspect to be underage several questions about their identity. For example, they might want to ask them what their birth date is or what their address or zip code is.

Spend some time drafting up a detailed and thorough application before submitting it to the city. You want to be address as many potential issues that may arise as possible to prevent your application from running into any objections. If your application does run into objections, your application may be rejected or it may take longer for your establishment to get a liquor license. Numerous rejections will weigh poorly on your establishment.

To learn more about the liquor license process, contact companies like Arizona Liquor Industry Consultants.